What’s on at the 2016 Portobello Book Festival?

The programme for the Portobello Book Festival was officially launched tonight in a packed Dalriada on the prom. Authors, people chairing, organisers and past contributors all got together to hear Mae Shaw tell us about the busy and exciting programme of events planned for next month.

The book festival has grown over its 8 years from a small local community event to a larger local community event. It is run by local volunteers with a passion for books and reading who want to share their enthusiasm. It prides itself on being a free event – no-one is paid to take part and no-one pays to come along (though donations are always welcome!). As always, you can expect an eclectic mix of events with something for everyone. There are authors who have been nominated for prizes such as the Man Booker Prize and the McIlvanney Prize. You can enjoy events focussing on Tartan Noir novels, graphic novels, novels with a historical slant or listen to authors talk politics and much more besides. There is also a schools programme with events taking place in the local primaries and Portobello High School. There is even a school event with an ex-Olympian turned author – you can probably guess who! The festival is supported by Blackwell’s Book Shop who will be running bookstalls during the course of the event where you can buy books from the authors who are appearing.

Over the next few days the programme will be revealed with copies available to pick up in Portobello Library and tickets for all events available from next week. So first of all, here’s what you can look forward to on Friday 7th October. These events all take place in the library.

PortyBookFest launch



Sharing memories of the Buchan Potteries. Gavin May gives an informal talk on this iconic Portobello industry.

55+ Local transport provided: contact Portobello Library for information.



John Curtice is Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University and President of the British Polling Council. Well known for his expert analysis, his many publications include Has Devolution Worked? He will discuss the significance of polls and the recent upheaval in our political landscape.

Chair: Jane Meagher




Join David Francis and a host of local writers for an evening of words, music and conviviality, with special guests Liz Lochhead, poet, playwright, translator and broadcaster, and Patsy Seddon, Scottish Harp player and singer extraordinaire.